Are We Returning to Jim Crow?

 A photograph of an African-American child using a water fountain, which is part of the county courthouse property in Halifax, N.C., in 1938. From the New York Public Library. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
A photograph of an African-American child using a water fountain, which is part of the county courthouse property in Halifax, N.C., in 1938. From the New York Public Library. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

When Donald Trump campaigned on the slogan “Make America great again,” many of us saw it for what it was: coded language for taking the mask—or the hood, as it were—off of white supremacy.


Since his inauguration, Trump, and those in his administration, have shown that they mean to make good on their promise to bring white supremacy back to the forefront. Every policy decision is cloaked—and coded—in the dismantling of everything that has helped give marginalized people even the smallest leg up in a society that is stacked against them in the first place.

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has been one of the most egregious and openly out members of the Trump administration when it comes to his plans to restore the white man’s unadulterated power.

In his short time as head of the U.S. Department of Justice, he has reinstated an asset-forfeiture program, which unfairly targets minorities and poor people; he is trying to make “fetch” happen in the form of the purportedwar on drugs”; he wants to get rid of the consent decrees that hold police departments accountable for the way they treat everyday citizens; he is the biggest supporter of slavery in the form of mass incarceration; and he advocates for private prison companies to profit from that very same form of slavery.

Nothing Sessions has done has been done in secret, and the latest move by the Justice Department may be the very thing that tips us over the edge from “Are they doing what I think they are doing?” to full-on “Holy shit! They are doing exactly what we think they are doing.”

On Tuesday night, the New York Times broke the news that it was in possession of a Justice Department document outlining a plan to redirect the resources of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division toward investigations of and lawsuits against colleges and universities with affirmative action admissions policies that the department deemed discriminatory against white applicants.


Let that sink in.

First of all, keep in mind that if this were truly about real instances of white people being discriminated against in college admissions, the Justice Department has a division that handles issues related to schools and education issues; it’s the Educational Opportunities Section, and it was put in place to enforce court decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education and federal legislation mandating that schools may neither segregate students by race nor discriminate against students based on sex, national origin, language barrier, religion or disabilities.


So why not go through that department? I’ll tell you why.

My theory is that the reason the Justice Department is going at this from the civil rights angle, and the reason it is attacking colleges and universities with affirmative action policies first, is that this is the low-hanging fruit that will lead to the ultimate victory: wiping out affirmative action in all aspects of American life, including employment.


If the people at the Justice Department are able to get a court victory that sustains their belief that affirmative action policies are prejudicial against white people, that opens the door for employers to say, “Hey, then why do we have to have affirmative action?”

You know what that also does?

It opens the door for open discrimination in housing.

It is the opening to dismantle the Civil Rights Act from a long-con approach.

Because let’s be clear: This idea of removing these protections is not anything new. These ideas have been in the heads of white people in power for a long time.


The Times cites Roger Clegg, a former top official in the Civil Rights Division under President Ronald Reagan, as an open supporter of this latest move.

Clegg is quoted as saying, “The civil rights laws were deliberately written to protect everyone from discrimination, and it is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian Americans are as well.”


In case you aren’t aware, Clegg is president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a misnomer for an organization that is hell-bent on fighting affirmative action, immigrant-friendly immigration policies and the Voting Rights Act, among other things.

I will not provide a link to the center’s hateful website. You are free to Google the organization’s name and take a look for yourself, but let me provide you with a snippet from its “mission statement”:

We work to promote a colorblind society, one within which race and skin color are no longer an issue and so accordingly we oppose admission, hiring, and contracting policies that discriminate, sort, or prefer on the basis of race or ethnicity. We oppose racial gerrymandering. We oppose bilingual education, because it segregates students by national origin, encourages identity politics, and fails to teach children English—the single most important skill they can learn and the most important social glue holding our country together. And, whatever one believes to be an acceptable level of immigration, all should agree that those coming to America must become Americans, and this means that assimilation is not a dirty word, but a national necessity.


Read it twice so you get where I’m going with this.

Again, none of this is being done in secret. The Department of Education, under the monster that is Betsy DeVos, has already said that it plans to scale back on investigations of civil rights violations at the nation’s public schools and universities.


From the Times:

According to an internal memo issued by Candice E. Jackson, the acting head of the department’s office for civil rights, requirements that investigators broaden their inquiries to identify systemic issues and whole classes of victims will be scaled back. Also, regional offices will no longer be required to alert department officials in Washington of all highly sensitive complaints on issues such as the disproportionate disciplining of minority students and the mishandling of sexual assaults on college campuses.


Are you paying attention? Are you seeing what they are doing here?

They are creating a fast track to the return of Jim Crow. They won’t call it Jim Crow; they consider it making American “great” again, but as I said before, it is Jim Crow in a red hat and a bloated white body, wielding its power over marginalized communities no matter how you look at it.


Take away access to education. Remove restrictions that prevent discrimination in hiring and housing. Crack down on small-time drug dealers and people in poor communities in every way you can.

Create a system in which there is no way for people to break out of the systems of poverty that hold them down.


Take away health care. Cut down on social programs that help the poor.

Make it OK for an already militarized police force to create a police state in which we have no defense against their aggressions.


Continue to open private prisons. Funnel the oppressed and those committing small crimes into that system. Create a new system of chattel slavery that profits off of white supremacy.

Call it justice, because it has all been enabled by the “Justice” Department.

Sit back and watch their master, or your master’s, plan at work.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.



I don’t put anything past this administration. So we very may well be and I think, my question is what are we going to do on a personal and local level to mitigate as much damage as we can to ourselves and to our communities?